Savannah releases investigation into Detective Trina Mayes
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -
Savannah-Chatham Metro Interim Police Chief Julie Tolbert denied Det. Trina Mayes' appeal to keep her job Wednesday, as city officials released an outside investigator's report on Mayes' relationship with convicted felon William "Rocky" Sellers.
Mayes was suspended pending termination late Friday. City officials claim she violated the polcie department's code of conduct by associating with a felon and that she lied about the association.
At issue: whether Mayes continued a romantic relationship with Sellers after learning he was a felon and starting work as a Metro officer.
The city hired Virginia-based private investigation firm Manuel Daniels Burke International to look into Mayes' past. MDBI's report, released Wednesday, contends that in 2006, Mayes visited Sellers in jail, using a false social security number and her maiden name on the jail's sign-in sheet, then posted bond to get Sellers released from jail.
In September, Mayes brought a sexual harassment allegation against then-police Chief Willie Lovett. Mayes claims she had an affair with Lovett, who is married, and that her career suffered when she broke the relationship off.
Lovett retired, effective immediately, when the accusation was made public.
Mayes' attorney, Will Claiborne said the city is "dead flat, wrong," and that he has the documents to prove it.
Claiborne gave WTOC a bond record that indicates Rocky Sellers' mother, not Mayes, paid to get him out of jail.
In their report, MDBI's investigaors say they interviewed Mayes, who denied giving Sellers money while he was in jail, but investigators say they found a check proving otherwise.
Claiborne points to Mayes' last police performance evaluation as proof of her character.
In it, her supervisor called her, "a good detective who has solved many criminal cases."
"She has integrity," the supervisor wrote.
Mayes will appeal Tolbert's decision to Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter.
Claiborne said if that appeal is denied, he will add a retaliation claim to a sexual harassment lawsuit he plans to file against the city on Mayes' behalf.